ACP and FIDE agree on close cooperation

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Last week the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) and the World Chess Federation (FIDE) agreed on working together more closely. It was decided that the ACP will be actively involved in the decision-making process within FIDE and that for the next World Championship cycle (2013-2014), the winner of the ACP Tour will be included as one of the eight participants of the Candidates' Competition.

ACP President GM Emil Sutovsky and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

As we already mentioned at the end of last year, having installed a new board, the Association of Chess Professionals seems more active than ever. To illustrate this: after hearing nothing for years, we have now received three press releases in as many weeks! The most important was the last one, which described a close cooperation between the ACP and FIDE:

Press Release - ACP and FIDE agreed on close cooperation

January 21st, 2012

On Thursday January 19th, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met with the newly elected ACP President GM Emil Sutovsky. The meeting took place after preliminary talks between GM E. Sutovsky, FIDE Deputy President Mr. G. Makropoulos and FIDE Vice President Mr. I. Gelfer (all members of the FIDE Commission for the Olympiads and World Championships), in which several issues concerning the relationships between FIDE and the ACP were discussed.

Mr. Ilyumzhinov and GM Sutovsky agreed on the following mutual declaration:

Both parties are striving for a constant dialogue and cooperation regarding all issues, which concern the professional chess.

In this regard, the following points were agreed upon:

1. The ACP will be actively involved in the decision-making process within FIDE - The ACP President or his representative will be invited to all FIDE Presidential Board meetings. Additionally, the ACP will be represented in the following commissions of FIDE: World Championships and Olympiads, Modernization, Qualification, Ethics and Rules.

2. The ACP, having a comprehensive information about all major events in the chess world, will build a Calendar for all official events. This Calendar shall be approved by FIDE.

3. The ACP will participate in the process of choosing arbiters for the Olympiads.The shortlist of International Arbiters - members of the ACP will be submitted, and FIDE will appoint 10 arbiters from this list.

4. The ACP gets the right to organize 2012 ACP World Rapid Cup, 2012 Women's World Rapid Championship and 2012 World Internet Championships/Cup. In case the ACP intends to organize such events in the future, they will have to get an approval from FIDE for using the "World" title.

5. One of the FIDE President nominees for the 2013 World Cup will be the highest ranked player of the ACP Tour 2012, who is not qualified by other way (Elo, Continentals, etc...)

6. For the next World Championship cycle (2013-2014), the winner of the ACP Tour, in the year, preceding the Candidates' Competition will be included as one of the eight participants of the Candidates' Competition.

In addition, the question of introducing new Grandmaster title was discussed, and the ACP will conduct a survey in this regard.

In their first press release, the ACP pointed out the following reasons to become a member:

1. Members who are also chess players are automatically enrolled in the ACP Tour. The ACP Tour is a tournament circuit organized by the ACP, which regroups the most important tournaments in the world during a one-year chess season. Players taking part in these events gain points according to a ranking system devised by the ACP. Once the season is over, the best players are qualified for a final event, called the ACP Masters. The winner of the ACP Masters will be declared ACP Champion. You can find more details about the ACP Tour on:

2. The ACP is preparing numerous tournaments (including ACP internet events), where only ACP members will be able to take part. Negotiations are currently ongoing with the Azerbaijani, Georgian, Israeli, Turkish and Ukrainian Chess Federations for staging ACP events as well as with three of world's top-100 companies for securing continuous funding to the ACP for expanding its activities.

3. The ACP offers help with visa and other legal issues to its members.

4. Our members may also get discounts on selected tournaments. Currently the ACP has started talks with the organizers in order to obtain special conditions for the ACP members at the forthcoming Individual European Chess Championships in Plovdiv (March 19 - April 1, 2012).

5. All ACP members can participate in various ACP polls on key topics of the chess life. Poll results are then made public, possibly with an accompanying Position Paper, thus influencing the policymakers at the highest levels.

6. The ACP acts as a mediator between players and organizers and proved successful in reducing conflicts.

7. The ACP is very active in discussing regulations with FIDE and continental organizations, and its success in this field is to the benefit of the chess community as a whole.

8. Together we can achieve more!

Later the ACP confirmed that they came to an agreement with the organizers to arrange special conditions for their members at the forthcoming European Individual Championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The organization fee will be decreased by 50% from 100 Euros to 50 Euros and the cost of accommodation in the official hotel (Novotel, Plovdiv) will be reduced by 5%. These special conditions will be offered only to members of the ACP lodging in the official hotel.

The Association of Chess Professionals is an organization that intends to protect the rights of chess professionals, to promote best practice among its members and the chess community as a whole and to promote chess worldwide. At the moment there are about 300 members from 50 countries. Membership of the ACP is open to chess players having the FIDE title of International Master (IM, WIM) or International Grandmaster (GM, WGM).

Also other chess persons, such as trainers, arbiters, organizers, teachers, journalists and presidents of chess clubs can apply for membership. All have to prove that chess constitutes an important part of their professional activity and their admission is subject to the prior approval of the Board.

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